With the new caterer Hutten in Aurora, a novelty has been added to the already wide variety of food choices on campus: a Foodmarket. On the brand-new building’s ground floor, there are four pop-ups selling food and beverages are sold—each with unique characteristics. At least, that is the plan.
Two out of the four restaurants are not yet in use. This is because the building, despite the planning, is yet unfinished. Teaching rooms were prioritised, says Frits Kok of caterer Hutten. Only the coffee bar (Your Barista’s) and lunchroom Blend are open for business. In a few weeks, The Plant (for everything vegetarian) and World Flavors (international cuisine) are expected to open.
WUR wants half of all proteins used to be plant-based by 2025. We expect to meet that requirement two years ahead of timeFrits Kok, sales-manager Hutten and developer of the Foodmarket in Aurora
The pop-ups meet one of the goals WUR has set for the new caterer. The supply is to be healthy, must contribute to the protein transition and must use as few disposables as possible. The latter requirement was quite a challenge in a building with no utility room, says Kok. He hopes to fix this by encouraging and rewarding the use of your own eating utensils.
The new caterer focuses on the use of plant-based proteins. Kok: ‘WUR wants half of all proteins used to be plant-based by 2025. We expect to meet that requirement two years ahead of time and even to reach 60 per cent in 2025. This is possible because all our soups, salads and the like are prepared in our own kitchens.’ Pop-up The Plant sells only plant-based foods.
To fight food waste, Hutten deploys the Waste Factory. In this factory, a proprietary development, soups and sauces are made from residual products from the vegetable sector. These soups are already available in the pop-up Blend, which offers a range of lunch items such as sandwiches, salads, juices and smoothies.
The most eye-catching, however, is the coffee bar. Currently near the building’s entrance, but this may change in the future, says Kok. The queues for coffee obstruct the building entrance. The unique feature of the coffee bar is the fact that the employees are deaf. The customers must use sign language to place their orders. A computer screen offers instructions.
It is all about price and quality. We believe our range is what will convince customers to buy.
Ordering coffee in sign language is not a gimmick. Deploying people with a disability is part of the inclusiveness concept. ‘The majority of the twelve Foodmarket employees come from the jops-project with which WUR creates an inclusive organisation. In addition to home-roasted coffee, this pup-up also offers breakfast items.
Finally, World Flavors is to meet the demands of the international WUR community. ‘And, we welcome inspiration from the students. You may expect the chef to visit the tables to ask how the food is and to inquire after any special wishes the customers may have.’ There will be vegetarian meals every other day.
And what is the cost of all this? Competitive, says Kok. ‘Of course, we checked what is available elsewhere on the campus. But we are a commercial business, and we are not subsidised. It is all about price and quality. We believe our range is what will convince customers to buy, and we believe they will be willing to pay.’